Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and the Philosophy Minor

The Department of Philosophy at St. Mary’s University teaches and guides students in philosophical inquiry, helping them to integrate the study of Philosophy as an academic discipline with the practice of philosophy as a way of life. Through coursework, research and rigorous inquiry, students study the processes of human living and thinking to understand the perennial issues of morality, religion, social and political life, culture, science and metaphysics and cognition.

Through careful study of the history of philosophy, majors and minors begin to understand and take their place in the centuries-long conversation about the structure and meaning of existence, the nature of knowledge and the principles of morality.

About Philosophy

Students talking with their professorStudents can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy or a minor. Through systematic study of diverse issues and methodology, majors develop disciplined thinking and problem-analysis skills. They are well prepared for graduate study as well as for careers in business and law professions.

The Philosophy minor introduces students to critical reflections through selected courses in the history of philosophy, logic and philosophical topics. The minor supports students majoring in related subjects where knowledge of philosophical methods is beneficial.

Program of Study

Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy

Requires a minimum of 30 required course hours within the major. Philosophy majors often pursue a double major in a field of study that complements their interests, such as Business, Mathematics, Political Science or Theology

The major program introduces students to the systematic study of philosophy in a broad range of fields, problems, and issues. The program is designed to prepare students for graduate and professional schools. It also provides a solid grounding in philosophical thinking and method for those preparing for careers where critical disciplined thinking and problem analysis is an asset.

The department strongly encourages majors to consider “doubling” a philosophy major with another area of concentration. However, the student must carefully work out his or her program of studies for the double major with the philosophy major adviser.

For degree requirements and detailed course descriptions, see the Undergraduate Catalog.

Philosophy Minor

A minor in Philosophy requires a minimum of 18 hours of study. The Philosophy minor introduces students to systematic critical reflection about a broad range of fundamental issues in the field. Courses in history, logic, and area specialties prepare students for the advanced study of philosophy, or for study in areas such as theology and law where a knowledge of philosophy and philosophical methods is beneficial.

For degree requirements and detailed course descriptions,  see the Undergraduate Catalog.

Course Areas

Environmental philosophy
Social and political philosophy
Ancient and Medieval philosophy
Early and late modern philosophy
Contemporary philosophy
American and Latin American philosophy
Philosophy of: art and aesthetics, culture, economics, film, history, human nature, law, literature, religion

For information on specific courses or degree plans, visit the Philosophy pages in the Undergraduate Catalog.

For information on the Philosophy minor is also available in the Catalog.

Department Mission

Megan Mustain, Ph.D., talks with philosophy students on the campus of St. Marys UniversityThe St. Mary’s University Department of Philosophy teaches and guides students in philosophical inquiry, helping them to integrate the study of philosophy as an academic discipline with the practice of philosophy as a way of life.

As integral to our mission, we as a faculty attempt to embody the meaning of philosophy through the pursuit of critical inquiry in the classroom, and in our professional and social lives. Through teaching courses in the Core Curriculum, we also bring philosophical inquiry as a way of life to all students at St. Mary’s, where philosophy sits alongside theology at the authentic core of a Marianist education.

Phi Sigma Tau Honor Society

Phi Sigma Tau is the international honor society in Philosophy. The Texas Lambda chapter provides outlets and support for both student and faculty scholarship in philosophical issues through essay workshops, lectures and paper presentations.

The organization promotes student interest in research and advanced study, providing opportunities for the publication of student research and encouraging a professional spirit and friendship among those who have displayed market ability in the field.

Considering Law School?

St. Mary’s has several options you should consider now to achieve your goals. The Pre-law Program provides students with relevant information and opportunities to enhance their chances for admission to the law school of your choice.

The Nelson Wolff Law Early Admission Program offers advantages to motivated, talented students who plan to attend law school and graduate in less time. This program is available to students in the following majors: Criminology, English, International Relations, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology and Speech Communications.

The Guaranteed Law School Admission Program allows outstanding St. Mary’s graduates to receive guaranteed admission to the St. Mary’s School of Law if they meet certain conditions.

For more information about any of these law-related programs, contact Milo Colton, Ph.D., J.D. at 210-436-3519.

Next Steps

Want to learn more about the St. Mary’s University Philosophy Program or are you ready to apply?

James Greenaway, Ph.D.
Chaminade Tower, Room 510

Rose Mary Gallegos, Administrative Assistant
Chaminade Tower, Room  507

Read more in the Undergraduate Catalog

Apply Now